When Halloween came around, my brother and I would get all dressed up and our parents would drive us into town to our grandparent’s house. We would have our pictures taken and get our candy bags ready for the trick or treating in the neighborhood surrounding their home.
This all may seem normal to you, our costumes and family photos and trick or treating, but you would be wrong. There was something deeper here, something terribly important and serious, something lurking deep within. You may recall my mentioning of my mom’s insistence that we eat wheat germ on our All Bran, the vitamins….the general lack of sugar. It was on these special holidays (Easter, Christmas, Halloween) that it was a sugar free-for-all, and the seriousness of this mission did not escape us. We were to gather as much candy as humanly possible, dump our haul on the living room floor, separate the ‘undesirables’ from the rest and trade out what we didn’t want. Then we would shove as much candy into our mouths before our mom would tell us that was enough as she doled out the rest over the next few weeks.
And you are now wondering what all this has to do with this week’s recipe? Well, I’ll tell you. This recipe called for 2 cups of raisins. As all trick or treaters know, when someone throws a box of raisins into your bag, you groan audibly and die a little bit inside. Though raisins are called ‘nature’s candy’, they certainly aren’t the kind of ‘candy’ we want on Halloween. In honor of Halloweens past, I substituted 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips for the 2 cups of raisins and, trust me, no one was disappointed.
This recipe makes 3 loaves. If you only want one, use 1/3 of each ingredient, but that would be crazy, because it’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, so 3 loaves is the perfect amount.
Sift all the dry ingredients together, then toss the chocolate chips in the dry ingredients before putting it all in the pumpkin mix. By mixing the chocolate chips in the flour first, it helps keep them suspended throughout the batter instead of sinking immediately to the bottom.
Using a measuring cup, I doled out the batter into each greased loaf pan evenly. I then gave the pan a whack against the counter, just a bit, to spread out the batter and help any air bubbles rise to the surface. I didn’t get too crazy with the smacking around, because I didn’t want all the chips to sink to the bottom of the pan.
I put all three pans in the 350 degree oven for 1 hour and did the toothpick test on them before pulling them out. My house smelled like Fall, I had one loaf for me, one loaf for my co-workers, and one loaf for the freezer for my Thanksgiving meal.
Looks like my trick of substituting chocolate for raisins ended up being quite a treat!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- 3 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 c. oil
- 3 c. sugar
- 4 1/2 c. unbleached flour
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. cloves
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 3 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 pkg. chocolate chips
- In large bowl combine and beat together eggs, pumpkin, and oil.
- Add sugar to pumpkin mixture.
- Sift dry ingredients together, add chocolate chips and add to first mixture.
- Pour into 3 greased loaf pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until tests done with toothpick or paring knife.
- Freezes well.